Review: Koval Single Barrel Four Grain Whiskey / by Jason Hambrey

Koval Four Grain.jpg
30 gallon charred virgin oak casks
Oat, Malted Barley, Rye, Wheat
Distiller Koval (Chicago, Illinois)

If I were to tell you that a distillery in the US had a four grain whiskey, most would automatically assume that the whiskey is made from corn, rye, wheat, and malted barley. Not in this case! In this case, the leading grain is oat, not corn, a grain which Koval has a penchant for (and probably is thebest oat whiskey I’ve tasted). This gets extra added character from the other grains.

Review (2020)

  • Batch: Barrel 5C9J3Z

  • Bottling Code: N/A

  • Bottling Date: ~2019

A really nice mix of grain and oak. Banana, freshly cut oak, vanilla, pine, dried apricot, steel cut oats, clove, roasted mixed grain, dee spiciness and a distinct bright character which I also find in their millet whisky (but this is altogether different). A touch of woody smoke throughout.  There is a really nice creaminess here.

I quite like what they do with millet – but this is very different. The millet whisky is quite leafy/vegetal (very unique) and is almost phenolic, but retains a bright character. This is fruity, spicy, grainy – less unique but more complex and harmonious. Really rich in character, and most of that isn’t from the oak. This whisky, while less unique, is more complete.

What a nice whisky! It sits very much in-between a grain-led character and a distillery-lead character (from yeasts, distillation characteristics, casks etc.).

Highly Recommended (49% of all whiskies I’ve reviewed to date get this recommendation or higher).

Value: average, at $112.